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Potential Tragedy Averted When Fairfield Fire Quickly Extinguished

Fireplace ashes ignited in a wooden garbage can container attached to a home on Redding Road.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
To Assistant Fire Chief Chris Tracy, the call was eerily similar to the tragic fire in Stamford two years ago that killed three children and their grandparents on Christmas day.

Fortunately, a call from the homeowner and a quick response from Fairfield firefighters averted a potential tragedy Sunday when ashes from a fireplace ignited in a wooden garbage bin attached to a house on Redding Road.

Firefighters responded about 3:30 p.m. and extinguished the flames. After checking for extension into the house, firefighters investigated the cause and determined that ashes had ignited.

According to a report from the Fairfield Fire Department, the homeowner had placed ashes from the fireplace, in a paper bag, into the wooden garbage container about an hour before the fire started. The ashes were from a fire a day earlier, the homeowner told fire officials.

The fireplace was still warm when firefighters responded, the report states. The homeowner was advised to purchase a non-combustible storage container, like a metal garbage can, to dispose of ashes, and to store it away from the house.

"Had they gone out ... they very possibly could have lost their house," Tracy said, noting that the cause of the deadly Stamford fire was ashes not properly stored.

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